Monday, 27 June 2011

Lloyd park redevelopment

Fences knocked down around the moat
When I first moved to Walthamstow, some five years ago now, one of the major persuading factors to choose my current Warner flat was the view. From my lounge windows I look out over Lloyd park, an expansive oasis of green and calm in an otherwise hectic town. Every time I make my way to or from the station (during daylight hours anyway) I wander through the park generally finding something to make me smile, whether it is families enjoying a sunny picnic, kids splashing through the muddy puddles or overly competitive friends taking their tennis game all too seriously.  I love discovering the first set of ducklings paddling around the moat in the springtime, and have to count them each time I walk past to make sure they are all still there and not been snapped up by some crafty fox or enterprising cat from Winns Terrace.
I have known for some time that the park was due to be redeveloped, after the Friends of Lloyd park group secured a substantial lottery funding a few years ago. All the central area around the current changing room gallery will be totally rebuilt, with major changes to the skate park, tennis courts and play areas. In the last week or two, work has finally begun in earnest, with metal fences appearing all around the park. The work is set to continue well into next year, with most of the park closed off apart from access pathways and some of the Aveling field area. I don't think the local residents have quite got used to the idea that most of the park is closed as most of the security fences had been knocked over at the weekend, with people going about their normal business and making themselves at home in supposedly fenced-off areas. I will definately miss my leisurely strolls around the moat for the rest of the summer, but the plans sound very exciting and I can't wait for the re-opening of the new and improved park!
Full details of the redevelopment can be found on the Friends of Lloyd Park website here.

And finally, one of my favourite images of Lloyd park, hastily captured on my phone as I battled through a minor blizzard earlier this year:

Friday, 17 June 2011

Kimchi sliders - Korean fusion food at the Rose and Crown

Slider order form
I'm a huge fan of south-east asian food, so when I saw that the Rose and Crown had a new Korean fusion food night starting up called 'Kimchi Sliders', I knew I would have to go and check it out. I had never heard of sliders before, but these were a type of korean street food, all kinds of hot fillings barbecued and served in bread buns.
Kimchi sliders is a new venture from Danny and Sarah at, a couple who lived in Korea for 2 years and brought back their passion for food with them to share with us lucky Walthamstow'ers. We placed our food order on a cute little form which we handed in at the bar, everything on the menu looked yummy but I went for pulled pork with ginger coleslaw, and kimchi and bacon. The lovely Sarah brought us our sliders soon afterwards, and I have to say they were delicious! The slow cooked pulled pork was amazingly tender with zingy homemade ginger coleslaw. Also the kimchi in the bacon slider was great, very authentic tasting which I was impressed by as making kimchi at home seems a rather complicated process involving fermenting jars of spicy cabbage!
The street foodie guys are hoping to make a regular appearance at the rose and Crown on Thursday evenings from 6-10pm so make sure to pop in and check them out.  

Our sliders and cute burger-shaped sweets

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Girlfriends - Rose and Crown

The Rose and Crown on Hoe street ranks pretty highly among my favourite places in Walthamstow, now flourishing as a well established theatre pub. Their comedy nights have recently started to attract some bigger names, such as Richard Herring who will be appearing in July for a preview of his new Edinburgh Fringe show. The theatre-group-in-residence, All Star Productions, can also be relied upon to put on a great performance and I try and make it along to as many of their shows as possible.
On Friday, we went along to see the new musical offering, 'Girlfriends', originally a 1986 musical by Howard Goodall, following the lives of a group of female Airforce base workers during World War II. In this version we saw the story focus on two best friends involved in a love triangle with an RAF pilot 'Guy', in a mostly lighthearted show which also touched on the heartbreak of waving goodbye to someone each night, never knowing if they would return safely or not. of  The highlights for me were a masterful performance by Aaron Clingham on the piano and great all-round performances from the cast in creating a set of believable and engaging characters The lyrics, whilst cheesy, were deliberately so and laugh-out-loud funny at times.
You can read more about the theatre company All Star Productions and book tickets for their shows here:  Girlfriends is on until 1st July 2011.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Walthamstow Book Club - 'The lost Books of the Odyssey'

As a child, i loved to read. My parents tell me stories of how I started reading at a very young age, at just under 3 years old I read my first 'book' called The Village with Three Corners (does anyone else remember these little books? The adventures of Roger Red Hat and the others, Billy Blue Hat was it?). I remember arriving at Infants school and having to read the books meant for older children, as all the ones on offer seemed like baby books to me. I remember the summer reading challenges at Braintree library, where you would go in and have to answer questions about the book to earn your reading badge. As an older child I discovered the sci-fi section and proceeded to read everything on offer, devouring contemporary works and the classics, working through the Hitchhikers guide series and the classic Asimov and Jules Verne tales.
As I moved into adulthood however, these simple pleasures drifted away from me as I found myself too concerned with studying for university exams or my social life to be able to devote the same amount of time to reading as I once did. A couple of years ago I thought that I would try and reignite this long-forgotten interest and I decided to join a local book club, which i have been going to ever since. We are a group of walthamstow book enthusiasts, from all kinds of backgrounds, brought together by our shared interest in reading. Over the couple of years that I have been going, I have seen many people come and go, along with a core of more regular members, and I have somehow ended up taking more of a leading role in organising our meetings. Each time we meet we will discuss the last book, then people will suggest their ideas for the next book to read, and we try to reach a democratic decision. One of the best things about the group is that we all have rather different tastes, which means I end up reading books that I would never have chosen myself, and often discover a few gems along the way! Which brings me neatly to the subject of this months book.
This month we are reading 'The lost Books of the Odyssey' by Zachary Mason. It appears to be a modern take on the classic Homer tale, retold from different characters perspectives and bringing new light to the old stories. I've never fully read the original 'Odyssey', but I hopefully know enough of the stories to get by. I'm looking forward to starting the book, I downloaded it last week only to turn on my Kindle and discover that the screen was quite badly broken! It looks as though someone has stood on it and fragmented the LCD screen, but the kindle has just been sat nicely on my bedside table in it's protective case. Thankfully AmazonUK have been great and have sent a new Kindle out in the post so I should be back up and running soon!
This months book